In February 2020, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) released its latest statistics on the state of the gender pay gap in Australia, and unfortunately yet still somewhat unsurprisingly, it’s discouraging.
Over the second half of 2019, we saw a 0.1% drop in the national gender pay gap, bringing the final difference in 2019 to 13.9% — a disparity between men and women of $242.90 a week. This is a small, small step but not yet a cause for celebration.
The new findings indicated that on average, women working full-time earned $1,508.50, compared to men working full-time who earned $1,751.40.
What can you do about the gender pay gap in the workplace?
Be vocal about your rights and what you deserve. Research has shown women see negotiating as a painful chore whereas men see it as a game. This could explain why men typically jump on the first opportunity to negotiate while women generally may delay or avoid the whole ordeal.
But with most skills, negotiating can be learned and mastered. Here are three steps that may help you on your way to negotiating a higher income.
What to do if you suspect you are being underpaid?
Do your research, put your case together, and have a considered conversation with your manager or boss. Being prepared and landing yourself in the right frame of mind is key to this negotiation. Remember, your manager or boss is not the enemy, you just need to bring to light evidence they may have overlooked.
If you suspect you’re being underpaid you must be vocal about the issue. It’s unlikely anyone else will raise this for you.
Before entering negotiations, the first thing you want to do is gather evidence to support your case. Use a reputable salary calculator or salaries guide, and list your responsibilities and achievements within your tenure in the company. This, coupled with some practising at home with your financial advisor or your partner, can be powerful tools that assist a successful negotiation.
2. Turn up the positivity knob
Channelling positive thoughts before walking into a negotiation can help with any negotiation anxiety and boost your own mood with confidence. With a mood that’s friendly and open, the other party may be more likely to adopt the same approach in the conversation by reducing emotional barriers and having a more meaningful conversation that will work to achieve integrative gains. This can help lead to a satisfying, optimal agreement.
3. Bring your EQ to the table
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict, according to HelpGuide.
Use your emotional intelligence ahead of the negotiation to centre yourself. If the scenario is that you’re feeling anxious about this negotiation, work to shift your mindset into the realm of: “I am prepared. I have a list of my responsibilities and achievements”. Your emotional compass can help you negotiate more successfully and give you greater self-assurance, especially in situations we might find difficult.
What if you don’t get a raise?
Don’t give up. Many of us tend to think that a ‘no’ is the end of the conversation, but it’s not the case. Think of salary negotiations as an ongoing conversation; there could be a million reasons why your boss might not be able to give you that raise at this point in time. Take this opportunity to draft plan together with your boss to help you get that raise.
Perhaps a raise is not something your employer can offer right now, but maybe you could negotiate a ‘perk’ that satisfies you to another degree. Negotiating one day a week off or your workplace paying for your health insurance, for example.
Consider alternate ways your conversation will go before entering the room. Be prepared with worse-case scenarios and what aspects you are willing to negotiate and compromise.
Let’s say your employer didn’t give you that pay raise but offered you something different or gave you less than you were prepared to accept. Next, you need to take your time to think about it.
Don’t feel pressured to accept any offer just because they are sitting right across from you, take your time to weigh your options and respond.
Want to find out more about the best ways to negotiate your salary? Speak with your new BFF at Best Financial Friend today.